Friday, 21 March 2008

Abuse of Trust - Part VI

I'm not sure what prompted this: boredom, I suppose. To Breckenridge, copied to the Ministry of Truth and Vara. Blind copied to lots of people:


Dear Professor Sir Alasdair (that's "D-A-I-R") Breckenridge,

"The MHRA Chairman [that'd be you] suggested that trust underpinned the stance of the MHRA towards the companies they regulate. We inferred that this extended to the routine acceptance of companies’ summaries of the results of tests on their drugs as true reflections of the raw data on which they were based."
Source: The Influence of the Pharmaceutical Industry para 283

Did the HSC surmise correctly? If so, then I would suggest that this is not sensible. The cases of Avandia, Seroxat, Vioxx, Seroquel, Risperdal and Zyprexa (and, no doubt, many other drugs), would bear me out. There appears, then, to be ample evidence that the Worshipful Company of Apothecaries is not to be trusted. Why do you continue to trust it, Professor?

What I'm saying, in essence, is that the Worshipful Company appears to be only too well aware that it's opinion of its own drugs is going to be taken at face value, with little or no scrutiny from the body that is charged with that responsibility. As such, the temptation to take liberties is one that the Worshipful Company is unable to resist, apparently. This would be fine, if everybody understood that to be the position - we just wouldn't take the snake oil remedies on offer. However, the Worshipful Company (and at this point I include the MHRA), presents itself as the very paradigm of truth and scientific rigour. But it's not, is it? The upshot of this model is that inefficacious and dangerous drugs may find their way onto the market in spades. And you're pretending that everything's OK, by the look of things.

So, why aren't you (ie, you personally, and the MHRA), doing anything to tighten up the system, to prevent the fraudulent use of KOLs, dubious marketing techniques, intimidation of whistleblowers, suppression of adverse event data, etc, etc? It's your job, remember? Or do you not regard this as part of your remit, in which case you should let us know?

Best regards


Matthew Holford

3 comments:

justana said...

I've translated some excerpts of this review into Portuguese.
They know it all.
Drug-induced suicide ideation that has nothing to do with depression; Kol; pharmaceutical industry way of promoting drugs;
It's all there!
Unfortunately they do nothing.

justana said...

PS: I hope you're fine.
I've also been "there".
Yours truly,
Ana

Radagast said...

justana: Well, to the extent that I understand, now, then, "yes, I'm fine". I know that nobody cares what was done, and what I experienced consequent to that, and the reason I know that is because nobody's doing anything to put it right. But that's fine, because that means that I don't have to, either - I'm just going to point out how fucked it all is.

Matt